I have a point data set where each point has a unique operator associated with it. I'd like to select by attribute = operator name and generate a new shapefile for each operator containing only the points associated with that operator name. Doing this by hand for each operator is simple but I've been having trouble trying to build a model in ModelBuilder that will automate it.

I've tried using the Select Layer by Attribute tool but I can't figure out how to iterate it such that the SQL expression will run through each operator name. ModelBuilder will not let me attach any inputs onto the expression term. The gist of what I think I'm trying to do here:

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3 Answers 3


Have a look at Dan Patterson's Split Layer by Attributes tool. I think it will work well for this purpose.


If you Group By the field containing your operator names in the iterator, it will select all the features with each unique operator name. You can then use those selected features I_Well_Locations_operator as input into the Copy Features tool, which will create a new shapefile for each group of features. You can also use Value as an inline variable for the output shapefiles so that each shapefile will have the unique operator name.


I would suggest trying the SELECT tool. It is available at all license levels.

From the online help:

Extracts features from an input feature class or input feature layer, typically using a select or Structured Query Language (SQL) expression and stores them in an output feature class.

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